If you look at some of the most disastrous technology predictions of the last 50 years, most of the products that were written off have become bestsellers. IBM had written off the PC and Steve Ballmer dismissed the I-Phone in 2008 as a crazy product. So predictions in technology are fraught with risk.
The last few years have seen the rise of connectivity, internet of things, cloud and many more big trends. Many of these technology trends could get accentuated in 2022. Here are 8 technology trends that are likely to impact each one of us.
Trend 1: Artificial intelligence and machine learning
Artificial intelligence is all about making computers think and behave intelligently. Machines cannot think, so they have to be programmed to become intelligent. That is what artificial intelligence is all about. The spread of 5G telecom technology will give a big boost to artificial intelligence, which is extremely bandwidth and processing speed intensive.
Machine learning is already all around us. When Google customizes search or when Amazon customizes product suggestions for you, that is machine learning at work. Year 2022 will see most of the Indian digital players trying to differentiate themselves via the use of AI and ML. Of course, connectivity and bandwidth must keep pace.
Trend 2: Geometric growth in computing power
If one thing that AI and ML needs is solid bandwidth, the other is superior computing and processing power. For example, machine learning is extremely data intensive. With most digital players and corporates in India likely to use ML to leverage the mountains of data, the need of the hour will be big computing or Hyperscalers.
What are Hyperscalers? It is about redesigning the chips or semi-conductors that underlie your computers and servers. Many of the technology giants like Google, Apple and Microsoft are in a race to design custom-made semiconductors for machine-learning applications. The only problem is that looking at the growth of AI and ML, these chips will have to redesigned almost every year. But get prepared for this technology trend.
Trend 3: More Cloud will mean more Cybersecurity
There is an interesting study of the current data mountain. IDC expects the data universe to grow to 175 Zettabytes (1 Zettabyte is 1 trillion GB) by 2025. To store and process data of this volume, you need the cloud to play a key role. But cloud also raises the risk of data security as we have seen in a host of recent cases. The answer is cybersecurity.
It is estimated that companies across the world will send billions of dollars on cybersecurity to protect the data on the cloud, as more and more critical data shifts to the cloud. This will be a big challenge for Indian companies in 2022 as the world gets smaller.
Trend 4: Time for Intelligent Feedback loops
This has been happening in fits and starts, but in 2022 it will be inevitable. It is not how much data you have but what you do with the data that really matters. Most companies will try and harvest valuable insights from data, rather than just capture it. It will be all about using AI and ML to cull insights out of information.
This will be a big differentiator for digital market places and digital brokers. For example, it is not how many customers they onboard that will matter. What will matter in 2022 is how they translate customer data into customer behaviour insights and eventually into better ROI per customer. Access to data insights creates a fascinating feedback loop where companies can rapidly improve and differentiate their offerings.
Trend 5: Distributed Web 3.0 and Blockchain
The current internet is centralized. Web 3.0 is happening and it is about decentralized or distributed web. For example, you don’t need to meet suppliers and customers only on platforms like Flipkart and Amazon. You can also do peer-to-peer transactions, eliminating middlemen altogether.
Every idea needs an underlying technology and in this case, it will be Blockchain. Now, blockchain is a distributed ledger technology, which is also the technology underlying cryptocurrencies. Many of the ecommerce platforms built on Web 2.0 ideas will have to start thinking about Web 3.0.
Trend 6: Leveraging Creator marketplaces and Non-Fungible Tokens
You must have recently heard of Amitabh Bachchan issuing NFTs for some of his works. This could be the start of trend of creator marketplaces. Individuals will be able to use the web to monetize their fan-base or even to build a fan-base.
It will mean that content creators and influencers will be able to directly engage with the audience. For example, a musician may not require a music label or an actor may not need a banner. This is a long term trend, but 2022 could see this NFT trend getting established.
Trend 7: Remote workplaces and remote work
Most companies in India managed to overcome COVID constraints by adopting work-from-home protocols. Year 2022 could see remote work and remote workplaces become a norm and also become a flexible part of regular employee engagement. That, in a way, is what the metaverse is all about. One outcome will be that less people will travel for work and more will travel for leisure. That could still be some time away.
Trend 8: Electric vehicles or EVs
You cannot be in 2022 and not talk about EVs. The year 2022 is likely to see India embracing EVs in a big way as the global pressure to cut greenhouse-gas emissions intensifies. More importantly, 2022 could see the ecosystem for EVs getting a big boost.
Year 2022 promises to be interesting and also significant in terms of technology shifts. Hopefully, the end consumer should be the big beneficiary.